Saturday, October 17, 2009

For My Father Movie Review

For My Father/Shabat Shalom Maradona (2008) is an absorbing and complex quest of unyielding emotion, choice, and discovery. Given the choice of regaining your father's honor and cementing your legacy or alienating your family for a person you just met that rekindles your spirit, which would you choose? What if the action for your father would hurt this other person, but not hurting the other person would result in your father's death? All the while your life is on the line! This is Terek (Shredi Jabarin), a young handsome caring man that has found himself in an impossible situation.

Terek arrives in Tel Aviv, Israel and goes to a crowded market where he closes his eyes and prays as he slightly pulls up his sleeve to expose a trigger. He is a Palestinian suicide bomber. Click, click, click - the trigger is broken. He briskly walks away and around a corner to call the mission planner who wants to activate the vest of explosives via a cell phone link but is convinced to wait for him to fix the device and properly use it.

Under the cover of a construction worker needing a new trigger for a nearby work site he visits an electrician named Katz (Shlomo Vishinsky). Katz does not have the part and orders it for delivery in two days. With reports of a terrorist crossing into Israel coming over the radio and police cars driving by, he offers to fix Katz' leaky roof in exchange for the part to keep himself hidden.

Across the street is Keren (Hili Yalon) who runs a small shop after being disowned from her family. They immediately hit it off when he goes over for coffee and we see his human side for the first time as his face lights up when talking to her. Terek has diner with Katz where he feels compassion and sorrow for him after hearing of his son's death. Later that night Terek comes to Karen's aid when she is being harassed by some men for how her life doesn't conform to societies expectations. Tarek is more alive than ever as their feelings continue flourish.

He is being shown life by the people he came to kill - he must decide what he is going to do.

9.5 out of 10 - This independent film dares to reveal the human side of both sides. There is no political message, no taking sides, and little history of the conflict in the region - it is a story of people. I was kept engaged as the characters interacted and the story unfolded all the way to the ending credits. Perceptually riveting! For My Father was directed by Dror Zahavi and written by Ido Dror and Jonatan Dror; Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles;
DVD available on June 1, 2010.